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Letters to the Editor

Thu., March 29, 2012

Protect special places

Idaho’s Bitterroot and Clearwater mountains – among my favorite areas for riding my motorcycle, camping, hiking and fishing – are unique because of the relatively low-elevation productive forests, countless ridges, unspoiled mountain lakes, streams, and rivers teeming with trout, salmon and steelhead. These are important habitats to mountain goats, elk, unique plants, fisher, wolverine and other rare species. These rich areas are not fully protected. Idaho is growing quickly. These wild places remain threatened by development.

There’s hope! The Clearwater Basin Collaborative and some of our congressional delegation are working across party lines to find common ground to protect these special places and to promote economic development in the basin.

Wilderness designation will ensure that our lands remain as intact and natural as possible; where man is only a visitor, where one can find a mental retreat. It’s important that we act now, preserving some of the only lands left that remain unspoiled. Our ecosystems are all interconnected; leaving a small part of our lands protected in natural conditions helps to strike the important balance we must maintain between taking from the land and giving back. This protects critical wildlife habitats, but our children’s air and water as well!

Thomas Keenan

Coeur d’Alene

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